Here is the third annual (highly subjective, highly varied) list of the year's fascinating solo women, compiled for my lifestyle website, www.sololady.com. Your nominations/comments are welcome, of course!
AnnaNicoleParisBritneyLindsay- What's notable is that the mainstream media continues to follow conglomerations of dysfunctional solo women, from one misfit to the next, without a pause. The rest of the news gets pushed aside for this drivel. And what does it say about us?
Ann Coulter- Alas, this uber-meanie is a solo woman, and many would say, not surprisingly (others on this Website have questioned if she even qualifies, by gender). More a black-widow spiderwoman (does she ever wash that dark cocktail dress), she relishes the killer insult. Her appearances have dwindled after recent disses of 9/11 widows, John Edwards and Jews. Go bite yourself, Ann.
Arianna- Huffpost's eponymous Ms Huffington has led the way in influencing policy through our participation on the Web. Her writing and appearances are inevitably articulate and on point, and she's a major role model for independent solo ladies. (How's that for sucking up?)
Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jeria -- Single mom of three, physician, polyglot, torture victim, humanitarian, and the first female president of Chile, Senora Bachelet qualifies on any notable list, solo or not.
Katie Couric - She hasn't done well on the The CBS Evening News, despite the hype. She doesn't look all that happy, despite her hunky young beau. We liked her better when she could be true to her perky self, and talk a bit of trash.
Kathy Griffin - Cosmetically honed head to toe, this foul-mouthed comedienne is no longer D-list. She's the funniest female voice around. And, hurray for us gals with some wit: she's dating Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd -- The View made one good choice and one clinker with its new crew. The Whoops is a wise, wise-ass. The World According to Sherri may be flat (g-l-o-b-e?) and Jesus, she insists, came before the Greeks, but she holds a multi-million, multi-year contract anyway. Cut bait, Babwa, but please don't bring back Star! We'll take stupidity over venality and vanity.
Jennifer Hudson - This American Idol also-ran exhibits grace in her multi-award, Oscar winning successes. A good reminder that we should stay the course.
Mother Theresa - Posthumously, this practically sainted nun who lived and toiled among the destitute in Calcutta has revealed her questioning about the existence of God. Guess that means she could never have been a Republican candidate!
Condi Rice- Where has she gone? What is she doing? Has anyone seen her lately? That's what makes her notable.
Martha Stewart- Rejuvenated and reinstated after from last year's prison stint, she's softened her image, sort of, and now dates billionaire Charles Simonyi, who built Word, and Excel (both terms reflecting aspects of Martha herself. Fate?). Ms. Martha packed the tech mogul a gourmet picnic meal when he shot into space. How 21st century.
Oprah Winfrey - The big O is always notable, but this year she's really stuck the news, including an apology for sexual harassment at her girls' school in South Africa, and her highly visible support of Barack Obama. Will she help make him number one? Will he become our "favorite thing"? Stay tuned.
Lea Lane is editor of www.sololady.com and author of Solo Traveler: Tales and Tips for Great Trips (Fodor's)